Christine Nicholson has been a student at UC Clermont for three years. She has spent her time studying English and working as an editor for the East Fork Literary Journal of the Arts. Christine has an obvious love of literature and creative writing, but she also has other passions beneath the surface.

One of Christine’s biggest passions is self-defense. She has been studying martial arts since she was fourteen, and worked her way up to obtaining a second-degree black belt. She believes that all individuals, at any age, should have the right to know how to properly defend themselves, which is why she also believes that self-defense classes should be offered in schools.


So, in 2017, alongside her previous martial arts teacher, she began teaching a self-defense class of LGBTQ+ students at Kentucky University. Christine mentioned that she carries nun chucks in her purse for her own self-defense. “After all, I am a woman in my twenties, so being able to defend myself is really important to me.” She also said that “it’s not that difficult to learn basic techniques,” so practitioners don’t have to be a regularly active or athletically gifted in order to learn self-defense skills.

Christine’s second passion is more subtle than her first. She believes in spreading kindness and being compassionate, and she endeavors to stand for inclusiveness. When she teaches martial arts, it is especially important to her that her students feel that they fit in and don’t feel like an outsider. “I believe everybody has a purpose, and I believe mine is to create an environment where everybody feels that they are where they belong.”

Christine says that this goal is with her wherever she goes, whether it is in her classes at UC Clermont or even while editing for East Fork. She hopes to make everyone feel that what they are doing matters, and she says that it is important for her to learn about her peers on the inside, rather than just on the outside. She says, “It’s always about putting people before yourself and making sure that the people around you feel heard.” Her main goal for both of her passions is to help her peers feel safe physically and emotionally. “Everybody is a little bit of a weirdo and everyone should feel free to express themselves.”

If you are interested in being featured in my next column, feel free to reach out to me and let me know what your passions are! You can contact me through email at

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